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Google+ houses healthy community for photographers

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Google+ did a lot more than just showcase images with large sizes and great quality, they rolled out features that photographers actually wanted. Sure, the image editing tools are basic and lackluster, but there are some real gems in what Google+ can do. For instance, every image has EXIF data and a histogram available to view — the sort of behind-the-scenes information that prompted Kelby to observe that “it feels like it was designed for photographers.”

Every time you post something on Google+, you can control which circles do and don't see it (image by Thomas Hawk).

This detailed information gives users a glimpse into what goes into making the shots they love. The baked-in integration with Google’s Picasa image hosting service also suddenly meant that many people didn’t have to upload all their images again from scratch, instead just tie the two Google platforms together, and transfer over the prettiest of their shots.

As cool as all these features are — including many more that appeal to photographers — Google+ has become a mainstay due to the community that’s formed around it, and the way that Google+ allows for easy and precise control of sharing. A critical mass of photographers discussing their work has created a huge and excited community. Last month, Google announced more than 400 million Google users have signed up for Google+, and 100 million are using the service on a monthly basis. 

Google seems to have learned a lot from Facebook’s mistakes when it comes to images and sharing content, and Google+ benefits from this knowledge. Sharing controls are expansive and easy to use, and Google+’s Circles mean that a prominent community member can have thousands of followers, and easily choose between sharing to everyone, just their closest friends, or anything in-between.

Every time you post something on Google+, you can control which Circles do and don't see it.
Google+'s Hangouts brings together far-flung users into a group video chat.

The social side of Google+ extends well beyond just sharing images and commenting. Trey Ratcliff has nearly 3.7 million followers watching his every move on Google+, and regularly holds court in “Hangouts,” video chats between as many as 10 people where tips, tricks and information seem to flow freely. These virtual Hangouts have become a breakout star of the Google+ experience, allowing photographers to come together and discuss how they edit, their favorite techniques, gear recommendations, anything under the sun. Hangouts have even branched off into HIRL — hangouts in real life, as people have started holding meetups and photowalks with others in their Google+ circles.

Events are a relatively recent addition to the world of Google+, and have built on the already widespread success of get togethers like photo walks.  

Hawk jokes that the “Events” feature should just be called “Photowalks,” quipping: “The new events pages almost feel like they were specifically built for showcasing photowalks.” 

Everyone seems incredibly impressed by the camaraderie that’s sprung up, and Kelby is happy to call Google+ “the most vibrant photography community anywhere on the web.”

Google, in turn, has embraced the photographic community as a pillar its the social network. When the Google+ iOS app updated earlier this year with iPad support, images received a large amount of attention. The ability to flip through a user’s photo album from your tablet, swooping through huge, gorgeous images was nothing if not a nod to the importance of photographs within Google+, prompting Hawk to dub the app “98% photocentric.”

Google+ app

The Google+ app also has a feature dubbed Instant Upload -- something of a boon for smartphone photographers. Instant Upload makes sharing images from your iPhone or Android smartphone on Google+ that much easier. Once configured, it quite simply uploads all of the images from your device (thankfully, you can set it to do so over wi-fi only to save bandwidth). These images are private by default, but it saves the effort of getting them off your phone and uploading them manually.

Instant Uploads makes syncing images from a smartphone a cinch. 
Imagery is at the forefront even in the Google+ app where photo posts are displayed full screen.

It also ameliorates one of the connections that’s sadly lacking with Google+: Instagram. Recently purchased by Facebook, Instagram is merrily doing its own social network thing, and can easily post to Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr or Twitter. Google+? Not so much. But, since Instagram saves files locally, you can couple it with Instant Upload to save your lovingly filtered shots onto the service.

Because Google+ is so intimately linked to Google itself, it also provides a wealth of information and utility for those hustling for link clicks. Google+ has proven to drive Search Engine Optimization spikes as any posts shared over the service get instantly crawled and indexed by Google. The introduction of Google Authorship has meant that the content of your website is linked to your Google+ account, verifying your identity, and helping protect against people who might copy and paste that blog post that you slaved over for hours. People also seem to be more likely to click on a link in search results if there’s a specific person attached to it.

And, for everyone addicted to analyzing the minutiae of Google Analytics and figuring out how exactly your content is getting shared, there’s Google Ripples. This slightly bizarre feature will let you view any public post, and see a chart of how it spread and through whom, as you can see in the example of Colby Brown's "Google+: The Survival Guide for a Photographer's Paradise." Once you get your head around how this chart works, you can quickly see who the hubs of sharing are, and who likes what you have to say — invaluable know-how for getting your photos seen by more people.

This screenshot of Google+'s Ripples features shows how one very popular post has been shared and re-shared hundreds of times.

By far the largest indication of Google+’s interest in photography has been the Google+ Photographer’s Conference held in May in San Francisco. With more than 700 attendees, talks were given by big-name photographers like Kelby and Peter Hurley, and sessions were hosted live over Hangouts. This was a major nod to the photography community, and its importance within the greater sphere of Google+. Topics ranged from photography advice, to software tutorials, to live critiques, to advice on blogging -- everything a social-media-connected photographer would need to know about.

Originally, the conference was designed to be solely about using Google+ but ballooned into covering all aspects of photography, and created quite a buzz — prompting Kelby to dub it “Woodstock for photographers.”

The relationship between photographers and Google+ hasn’t always been perfect — soon after the social network launched, something of an uproar kicked up around the terms of service of site, sparked originally by a blog post by Scott Bourne. While he later clarified his stance, the original post was enough to spark a heavy round of discussion about what rights Google claimed over your work. The worries were eventually decried as FUD, and with companies like Getty Images looking over the terms and not finding anything suspect, the debate disappeared quietly.

Another slightly perplexing issue is the question of nudity on Google+. Technically, Google+ entirely disallows the naked form, stating “We don't allow nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material.” Some have embraced this as a good thing, while stirring debate as well, but images of the nude form have a long and storied connection to photography. Google doesn’t seem to be enforcing this rule unless people complain, and there are nude photography groups on Google+, but falling afoul of this rule could have major consequences. According to Business Insider, breaking Google’s terms of service could mean your entire account gets deleted, which extends beyond just Google+ and into Google’s other services. Facebook has a similar hardline stance on nudity, whereas 500px and Flickr both use content filters to control what people can see.

The relationship between photographers and Google+ right now is fantastic, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. Major players in Google are regular users of Google+, and the Photographer’s Conference had  a surprise visit by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. But one of the coolest signs of this relationship was when Google showed off a really stunning piece of new technology. The day after the Photographer’s Conference, for the first time, Google allowed a group of people to try out the new Project Glass augmented reality glasses, letting some of these famous photographers get their hands (or heads, as it were) into one of the most interesting technological advances in recent years.

The first widespread hands-on of Google's Project Glass was during a photo walk at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. (images by Brian Rose)

It turns out the Google Glass photowalk was last-minute thing, organized by Google, and a sign of the huge amount of support Google gave to the conference. There’s talk of the event becoming a repeat, and Kelby is hoping that what was by all accounts an incredible conference can be continued in the future, but that ball’s now in Google’s court. Given how much effort Google has put into courting photographers, the prospect of a round two appears promising.

So, while the Internet may still hope that Yahoo! answers its plea to “please make Flickr awesome again,” it seems the smart money might be in getting on board with a company that really seems willing to embrace photographers, and appeal to what they want out of a website.


Tim Barribeau is a freelance science and technology writer based in San Francisco. He's been taking photographs since he got an Olympus OM-10 in High School. You can follow him on Twitter (@tbarribeau) or through Google+, and occasionally see him lugging a Mamiya RB67 through Golden Gate Park.

Comments

Total comments: 88
Gary Allman
By Gary Allman (Nov 19, 2012)

I think Google+ & Picasa have deficiencies which have not been addressed yet.

They ignore a lot of the EXIF data - in particular the Image Title and Copyright field. Tags only seem to appear in Picasa Web and not in Google+

Kudos to Facebook which actually extracts the embedded copyright statement and displays it.

Google+ and Picasa Web don't honor the formatting of the Description field - jumbling it all up into a big mess, and they ignore any embedded html in the description. Flickr bless it's little cotton socks sucks the image title, description and tags right out of the picture for display - and it keeps selected embedded html too.

Google's commitment to photography is not there yet, otherwise Picasa (and Google Chrome) would know what a color profile is and be able to honor it.

My conclusion is that the Google+ interface looks good, but is lacking in substance.

0 upvotes
JoaCHIP
By JoaCHIP (Oct 22, 2012)

I guess the need of photographers can be summed up easily by listing all the things Flickr doesn't offer: What we need is a simple and quick reacting UI with a dark background and large images in proper quality.

0 upvotes
raybies
By raybies (Oct 20, 2012)

I prefer Skydrive.
I really want to like G+ but skydrive is just so much better for sharing photos... maybe not in the "Social" sense, but in the single sdrv.ms/NGo9aW.

1 upvote
Ivanmckt
By Ivanmckt (Oct 19, 2012)

Definitely agree. The only reason why I still use my g+ account is to follow famous/regular photographers.

0 upvotes
DafO
By DafO (Oct 19, 2012)

G+ won't catch up on the social side (compared to FB) - it's been too late to the game.

If trying to catch the photographer community - then I think one of it's biggest targets is DPReview!
So curious there's an article that seems such an advert on here.

1 upvote
MBStuart
By MBStuart (Oct 19, 2012)

I love it there. I assure you all it is 100% not dead or a ghost town. There is however a learning curve to getting it setup so you're following "photographers"
I currently have over 10K people following me with tons of interaction. I visit daily and truly enjoy it like no other network. We have a Facebook presence too but it's just not the same. Plus with all the new "promote to play" functionality from the FB pages, a lot of people I know are giving G+ a second look.

Feel free to stop by if you'd like help building up your circles with great photographers.
http://gplus.to/mbstuart

There's plenty of room for both social networks, but I'd think again about dismissing Google+

Great article Tim Barribeau thanks for sharing!

(got here via Thomas Hawk!)

0 upvotes
skamalpreet
By skamalpreet (Oct 22, 2012)

so whats the story with the person needs toadd you to his circles before you can add him to yours...how do you follow somebody? or connect with somebody...or request to connect?

0 upvotes
napik
By napik (Oct 18, 2012)

Google+ is pretty dead, that´s for sure.
Now that facebook once again changed their policies in restricting the posting coverage of both simple users AND sites, forcing them to pay in the future, let´s see how google+ will develop - it´s by far a better network (usability).

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Oct 18, 2012)

A long long time ago I was joining Googles' Orkut. It never succeeded mainly due to the invite only policy, But I think Orkut was more like a test for Google in which way to go by means of social media. Google never gave me the feeling till Google+ that it saw a social media network like Orkut as an important product...now they are too late.

Google with Google+ at least tries not to give the impression to be a commercial network with a social touch. I like the whole circle idea, it's much much lesser cluttered and much more logical and easier to maintain than that Face(facial)book, especially the privacy and sharing settings.

The only reason I use Facebook more is due to that most of my family/friends/colleagues use facebook - that is in my opinion the only power of facebook it has the enormous user base - and that is the key component of any social network, not only for your users but also for your stockholders. :-)

1 upvote
Theeky
By Theeky (Oct 21, 2012)

The thing is.. you don't choose Google +;
Google + choose you... sooner or later you will be using it!

Besides that you will just love a social website without ads (at least for now).

0 upvotes
Noogy
By Noogy (Oct 18, 2012)

Strange article. Who is on Google+ among enthusiasts and pros here in DPR? None of my friends who are into photography are on Google+ and since Facebook upgraded its photo capabilities that now allows high-def viewing/sharing of images, FB definitely beats Google+ hands down. How much did Google pay for this article?

2 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Oct 18, 2012)

Agree. I don´t see a reason for using Google+. Google is trying to force people to use it, not only people with "normal" Google account but also Youtube users.
They want to compete with Facebook, but I really doubt the success.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 23, 2012)

A lot of people hate facebook on principle. I do.

1 upvote
Lee Cawley
By Lee Cawley (Oct 23, 2012)

The same can be said of Google Richard. If you asked me to name my top ten untrustworthy companies, Google would be top. I would only ever use their services with fictional data, making it a no-go zone for social interraction.

1 upvote
danijel973
By danijel973 (Oct 17, 2012)

This is true, g+ is excellent for presenting one's photos on the web.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Oct 17, 2012)

Sounds like an ad.

5 upvotes
adtapia
By adtapia (Oct 17, 2012)

i think i hear the sound of trees falling in a forest...
if you load your images to a site no one will ever visit, what does it matter how pretty they look?

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 23, 2012)

So the more views they get, the prettier they become?

0 upvotes
Lucky777
By Lucky777 (Oct 17, 2012)

+1

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

I can't find images on google+ ? Help!
I googled "google plus" -> https://plus.google.com/
I ended up on a page that looked similar to my facebook page. On there I tried every Icon and search field to find this "thriving community of photographers". Zip. Where can I find great pictures? Which web address to use, where to click? I am a little bewildered that this article complaints about the www.flickr.com interface. Yet within seconds I could find galleries of my interest and explore them. I spent an hour flat to find any galleries on google + and found nothing. I am also confused that this Articles is intended to introduce google+ to photographers who do not know google+. Now after trying to use this service I am more confused. Is google + more like facebook to be a posting wall with community linking? After reading the Article and comments I thought this is more like flickr but with a better presentation and with having better community tools as bonus. What am I missing ? Help!

3 upvotes
AnandaSim
By AnandaSim (Oct 18, 2012)

Hi HubertChen,

Articles like these are written like some tourist went to China for 2 weeks and writes about China after reading a bit, travelling a bit.

1. GooglePlus is a social network not completely like Facebook and not completely like Twitter. There may be similarities and there are big differences.

2. GooglePlus is NOT a one topic forum (i.e. photography), is not a photo gallery (i.e. not Flickr, not Smugmug). It does have a social community like Facebook, it does have Hangouts (so you can talk video and audio amongst your peers and with some celebs). We use GooglePlus to show photos and talk about taking photos, talk about how we feel, talk about food, hobbies. We use Google Plus globally to be in touch internationally with people we have never met before and we use Google Plus locally to first figure out whether so and so is our type of person before we meet. Once we meet in person, we then use Google Plus to further discuss things and show photos throughout the day, night.

0 upvotes
AnandaSim
By AnandaSim (Oct 18, 2012)

If you have registered at Google Plus, add me and we can discuss publicly - discussing with a large group or discussing publicly is what we do often.

http://gplus.to/anandasim

Celebrity Photographers are here:
http://www.recommendedusers.com/most-followed-photographers/

Celebrity following however is not one of the things that we take a lot of time doing. Our peer interaction is I would say more important and enjoyable.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 18, 2012)

Dear AnandaSim,
Thanks so much for clearing this up. Now it all makes sense! I will try this weekend to get my google + account going and it will be an honor to add you. See you there :-)

1 upvote
skamalpreet
By skamalpreet (Oct 22, 2012)

so whats the story with the person needs toadd you to his circles before you can add him to yours...how do you follow somebody? or connect with somebody...or request to connect?

0 upvotes
rgoislv
By rgoislv (Oct 17, 2012)

"The accepted story on the Internet is that Google+ is a ghost town, ............ and that it’s dead in the water."

It's the accepted story because it's TRUE.

7 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

What is the best way to upload collections from Lightroom to Google+ ? Is it Jeffrey Friedl's Picasa Plugin:
http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/picasaweb ?

I liked the content very much, congratulations. However, I found the style uncomfortable. It left me with the feelings such as you copied and pasted it from a google+ marketing brochure suggesting it lacks a neutral view on the topic.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
New_Pants
By New_Pants (Oct 17, 2012)

Have you tried the Picasa Web Upload plugin?
http://www.newpproducts.com/?page_id=2743

Its focus is to try and make uploading to Picasa Web from Lightroom as simple as possible.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

Dear New_Pants:
Thanks for your link. I had not found this one before, so great you mentioned it here. This plugin works via export and thus could be more straight forward than Jeffrey's Picasa Plugin, which works through publishing. However -- I think -- I will prefer the method through publishing as I plan to set up smart collections and plan for my collections to dynamically change with each shooting and I like for the web service which hosts my pictures to automatically reflect these changes which the publishing method appears to deliver. Have you tried both ? Is there a reason you prefer "New Products" over "Jeffrey Friedl's" Plugin ? As for me I have not used any Lightroom plugin yet. I only published manually to flickr once but am not happy with it. I have several collections ready for publishing in Lightroom and I am researching the best way to do as well as the best service to pick. E.g. 500px would be no good, as I can't automatically upload all my collections.

0 upvotes
New_Pants
By New_Pants (Oct 17, 2012)

To answer your question "Is there a reason you prefer "New Products""... quite simply I wrote that plug-in(!), so it primarily satisfies how I work with Lightroom.

I like Google+ and wanted a really easy and quick way to share photos with it and Picasa Web. Please feel free to get in touch via that website if you want to discuss Lightroom Publishing with that plug-in. Otherwise I wish you good luck using whatever Lightroom option does the job best for you!

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

Dear New_Pants: Thanks. I am interested in your plugin and if you answer my question here you might interest a larger audience and at a same time more people learn how to publish to google + via Lightroom. I hope this is Win Win for all.
1) What are the advantages of sharing photos through export rather than publishing ?
2) What workflow are you suggesting in Lightroom towards publishing to Picasa with your plugin
3) Could you help me to understand Picasa and Google+? After reading the Article here I was expecting a flickr but with better GUI and community tools on steroids. However, I could not find it. Please see my post above. An answer would be very appreciated. Thank you.

0 upvotes
New_Pants
By New_Pants (Oct 17, 2012)

I can give you some quick answers:
1) Exporting removes the step of maintaining Lightroom collections. You would simply select the photos (which optionally could be in a collection) and then simply Export them to a new or existing album in Picasa Web. Publishing requires you setup Lightroom collections and then Publish those to the Web. Using Export removes the need to maintain collections, but may not be suitable to everyone's workflow.
2) I typically work on an album at a time in Lightroom. When I've tidied up the photos from my recent trip or vacation I export them to Picasa Web. I rarely modify that album in Picasa Web once it has been created.
3) I think this article does the best job for giving an overview of Google+. Picasa Web is simply the online photo storage site where Google+ gets and stores its photos.

0 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 18, 2012)

Dear New_Pants: Thanks for your answers!
1) & 2) Makes perfect sense. It is in fact how I work currently. I was planning to start using collections but I am not doing so yet. Your plugin seems to be a shortcut to get started right away. I will try it. Thanks so much!
3) I eventually found the "Home Page" of a photographer on Google Plus:
https://plus.google.com/+ColbyBrown/photos
I like what I see and agree this is much better presentation than the photographer's home page on flickr. Yet one question remains: On flickr, pbase & 500px I can explore photos without knowing the photographers name / link to his home page. I also enjoy things like featured photo's, featured albums, editors pick, etc. Where can I find such things on google+ ?

0 upvotes
New_Pants
By New_Pants (Oct 26, 2012)

A quick follow up to this conversation.
http://www.newpproducts.com/?page_id=2743
The plug-in at the above link now does both Lightroom Export and Publish uploading to Picasa Web. So you can choose whether you want the simplicity of Lightroom's Export feature, or the trackability of Lightroom's Publish Services feature.

0 upvotes
Pahila
By Pahila (Oct 17, 2012)

I really like google+
Simple clean and efficient. Lets not forget fast.

Flickr was always too busy. never figured it out.

0 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (Oct 17, 2012)

I prefer Skydrive and Microsoft Photo Gallery. Used to be a Picasa/Picasaweb users but the editing tools sucks compared to Photo Gallery. Skydrive has integrated photo/doc design, Facebook/Twitter sharing suppot and as early adapter I got 25GB for free ;-)

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
nightshadow1
By nightshadow1 (Oct 17, 2012)

I like G+ but hate the fact that concerns from us small, unimportant people, are seldom, if ever addressed. This is especially annoying when a very important feature like the ability to add an entire circle to your "G+ page doesn't work.

So, when your friends brag and tell you that they have x followers and you don't makes you kind of jealous (it shouldn't, but yes it does because it limits your ability to receive #1's and comments) and you eventually want to quit.

For example... I am nowhere close to the limit of circles or people in them. But, when I am included into a circle and want to include it in my G+, I am ALWAYS prohibited with the the message saying that I can't because I have reached my daily limit - try again tomorrow! Well, after NEVER being able to add a circle, I say forget it! Forget about customer service... there isn't any, or at least they have never bothered to try to work out this and some other problems.

I use it, but it IS a love/hate relationship with me.

0 upvotes
MBStuart
By MBStuart (Oct 19, 2012)

I was unimportant in the beginning, and as far as the photography community before G+ I was nobody. Twitter is this same way though - no one will just follow you because you name sounds neat. You have to get out there and interact.
The circle limits are very annoying at times for sure.

0 upvotes
Aleksandr Reznik
By Aleksandr Reznik (Oct 17, 2012)

google+ ?! what is it?

0 upvotes
ZorSy
By ZorSy (Oct 17, 2012)

Picasa was good and Google+ made it even better, in particular album preview layout. As not very online socially active (I got real life), I don't like Google pushing "circles" and still invite people via email notification - I'm obsolete, I know....But - slideshow, size and maintaining quality are on the plus side.

0 upvotes
Rick Ritz
By Rick Ritz (Oct 17, 2012)

I've used Picasa for years and, of course, G+. I post only png images to FB now and it still just gets me close to the G+ quality using jpg uploads. For best resolution, I display on my own website which is far better than both of the others.

FB still has the audience so, though I don't like the FB quality as much, I still post to FB as my initial source to bring people to my website - which I track, of course, using Google Analytics. :)

2 upvotes
Nathaniel George Weir
By Nathaniel George Weir (Oct 17, 2012)

+1

0 upvotes
Nitin Goud
By Nitin Goud (Oct 16, 2012)

Please try G++ extension on firefox and chrome.
Allows you to integrate both G+ and fb.

0 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (Oct 16, 2012)

I may have to revisit my neglected G+ account, but only to participate as a photographer. When it comes to sharing photos with friends and family, all of them are on Facebook. Unfortunately Facebook is absolutely horrid when it comes to photography. Yes they finally got around to allowing higher resolutions with less compression, but Facebook albums are clunky to manage.

I have had an almost entirely neglected Flickr account since Flickr first started. I have always found Flickr to be a frustrating site to navigate. The social aspects of it were appealing, but as a photo sharing site it always seemed lacking to me.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jquagga
By jquagga (Oct 16, 2012)

I post everything to Google+. If family needs to see it, I'll post a link on Facebook to the photo or gallery on G+.

1 upvote
richard cohen
By richard cohen (Oct 17, 2012)

i agree with you about fb...lousy ui, but i guess resolution has gotten better. i'm using smugmug now which i like, but the interface to fb isn't great as it doesn't seem that most of my friends see the post on my wall..as opposed to my loading the album myself directly onto fb.

0 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (Oct 17, 2012)

Richard, I also use Smugmug. That is my main photo sharing site. I used to post from Smugmug to Facebook, but found that it was time-consuming. Also there is some value to having FB albums that friends can browse (because chances are they will do that more often than they will browse your Smugmug site). I have found that Lightroom makes it easy for me to publish a subset of Smugmug photos to FB very easily. Totally redundant, but I only post about 25% of my Smugmug photos to FB.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Oct 16, 2012)

I have been active in quite a number of different photographer online communities. They all have their advantages and are great. Some became very large and are excellent. But the major limitation that they all come with is the very thing that makes them popular: they are for photographers, not for the average person. Those communities are full of other photographers. Becoming popular among other photographers is great for your ego but generates very little public exposure (with a few rock star exceptions). From a marketing point of view that's not helpful. So when I read that G+ is very popular among photographers but kind of a desert when it comes to the average person I'm not too excited about it.

I'm not saying have a photographer heavy community is in any way bad. It can be very helpful and full of useful info for photographers, but in terms of getting your name out there that's not working based on my experience. But then, G+ has the chance to become a general social media hit.

6 upvotes
BobT3218
By BobT3218 (Oct 16, 2012)

That surprises me. I left Google for Firefox. Unlike most other browsers, Google refuses to implement colour management resulting in colours that look wrong. Have they fixed it in Google+ or what?

0 upvotes
Leif1981
By Leif1981 (Oct 16, 2012)

It sounds like you talk about the Google Chrome Browser and not the Google+ Community what this article is about.
But yes, in the latest version Chrome supports also color profiles.

3 upvotes
Model Mike
By Model Mike (Oct 16, 2012)

Dare I say it: quite a catalogue of misconceptions here re colour management. First, colour transformations are not required for sRGB images since all browsers assume sRGB by default. Second, while support for monitor ICC profiles would be nice, all browsers (not just Chrome) are equal in their lack of support for this. Arguably even that's not so much of an issue these days, except for wide gamut monitors. And finally, Google + is a web service not a browser.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
fabgo
By fabgo (Oct 16, 2012)

Not true on both counts. Firefox has color management built in, but it's not enabled by default.

0 upvotes
Code9
By Code9 (Oct 17, 2012)

I use Firefox as it's the only browser that supports image profiles and monitor profiles. My images look fine when viewed on Facebook or Skydrive. Not so good on Google+. They appear faded and lifeless. Makes Google+ a non-starter for me.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Oct 16, 2012)

I use facialbook and google+ both are not specifically aimed at photography and photographers.

I prefer to use flikr, it's aimed at photographers & photography and does not want to be Facialbook or Google+.

Flikr is a photographing/photographer/photography community. Facialbook and Google+ are more aimed at selling, stockholders and how to connect (anonymous) user data to commerce

2 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Oct 16, 2012)

I just think Flickr's GUI is too busy. If the focus is on photos it should be clean of so many distracting written paragraphs and empty spaces. IQ isn't what I'd expect either.

4 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Oct 16, 2012)

@Lucas: I agree that Flickr is too busy, but I have another problem with it: It's great at letting you find a single image, but looking a multiple images from someone is a real pain.

The thumbnails are too small, and the slideshow too unwieldy (esp. if someone has a lot of images). Google's UI is far superior in both areas.

1 upvote
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Oct 16, 2012)

@Lucas. You are right there are absolutely points what will be need to make flikr GUI better. And what I believe, they hired some people to make it a better experience in the nearby future.

Being a paid member helps with a better user experience. What I do like of Flikr is that it is aimed at photography - it does not want to be Google+ nor Facebook. It has a broad photography user community.

3 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (Oct 16, 2012)

Among all those, I still preffer Smumug for my gallery. It's very well structured database with excellent image quality. GUI is clean and simple, although with most needed options in easy to use drop-down menus. Maybe the fact that it's not free ( although very affordable IMO makes it less attractive ). 500px also impressed me well, so I'll look into it deeper. As for G+ IMO it certainly looks better than Flickr.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
OBI656
By OBI656 (Oct 16, 2012)

Google + got ugly interface. That would be very much the only thing as far as I am concern ...

0 upvotes
smalltalk80
By smalltalk80 (Oct 16, 2012)

Flickr's free tier is too limiting. Picasa/Google+ allows me to post unlimited number of pictures under 1600 pixels, which are not counted toward space usage.

Google+ does not support zooming into a picture. I'm surprised they miss such a basic functionality.

1 upvote
Royi Avital
By Royi Avital (Oct 16, 2012)

You can upload up to 2048 x 2048 without being counted toward space usage.

1 upvote
Spad16
By Spad16 (Oct 17, 2012)

I think this is a big reason why Flickr failed, when I got to 200 photos I started dithering, shall I pay or not. And then other things turned up and I never got around to it. I’m a bit of a happy snapper, and will never be a great photographer, but I think the vast majority of flickr users are like me, and it’s a big step to start paying, 200 photos isn’t a big enough investment to force people to stay on flickr, so lots of people just left.
/Neil

0 upvotes
Lee Dolman
By Lee Dolman (Oct 16, 2012)

I dont get how unknown photographers are supposed to interact...it seems us amateurs are merely allowed to look at all the big boys...unless I'm missing something...where do i get to see all the people like me's photo's and where do they get to see mine?

2 upvotes
Royi Avital
By Royi Avital (Oct 16, 2012)

Share them on Posts and use #HashTags.

2 upvotes
Stubb
By Stubb (Oct 17, 2012)

Participate in the day themes.

0 upvotes
richard cohen
By richard cohen (Oct 16, 2012)

the only thing i use fb for is to post photos, and i hate the interfaces and quality of images on that site...that being said, they have the eyeballs (friends) so it's a bit of catch-22 for using g+...not much point to use it until the people are there, but hard to draw them there just to see pix. it's actually amazing to me how bad fb is regarding image sharing and display considering it has 1 billion members...they could do a lot better, not sure if they could do worse.

2 upvotes
3DSimmon
By 3DSimmon (Oct 16, 2012)

I don't think the image quality on FB is bad at all, so long as you select High Quality when uploading

0 upvotes
Mika Y.
By Mika Y. (Oct 17, 2012)

The image quality stiff suffers quite a bit especially for night shots even if the high quality option is selected.

On this shot of faint auroras some of the stars almost disappear on the FB-recompressed image, and while switching between them there's a visible difference:

http://sphotos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/579989_10151064899354075_71039305_n.jpg

vs.

http://koti.kapsi.fi/~myrjola/photos/digital/tmp/faint_auroras.jpg

0 upvotes
lylejk
By lylejk (Oct 16, 2012)

I don't use Google unless I absolutely have no choice (search engine that is; many sites, unfortunately, use Google internally). I won't even use the Chrome browser since Google owns it. lol

:)

3 upvotes
photomeme
By photomeme (Oct 16, 2012)

another complete misfire at the 'new' dpreview site.

google+ has ran roughshod over picasaweb, which enabled sharing of images across the web, including any social media site.

google+ is essentially a walled garden distribution vehicle.

photographers worldwide have been in an uproar. but the strategy has led many of them (the ones that didn't leave) begrudgingly to ask their usual audiences to join the community.

5 upvotes
Damon Lynch
By Damon Lynch (Oct 16, 2012)

photomeme have you ever used Google+? It seems unlikely.

4 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Oct 16, 2012)

"photographers worldwide have been in an uproar."

Ha! That's why Google+ is packed with happy professional photographers.

You're projecting.

2 upvotes
arglebargle2
By arglebargle2 (Oct 17, 2012)

I agree 100% with the roughshod part. I was happily using picasa but could not stand google+ because it changed how it lets you use your pictures on other sites.

I still haven't found a service that I am happy with now that google+ took over.

0 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Oct 16, 2012)

WOW, didn't know that!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tje1964
By tje1964 (Oct 16, 2012)

I wish I understood why people whine so much about Flickr. Flickr shows EXIF data too, and it's very easy to communicate with other photographers. I do it every day. I like G+ very much, and I wish more people used it. But I don't think it's some kind of Flickr killer.

6 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Oct 16, 2012)

Flickr is Flickr killer. The interface and viewing experience is incredibly busy and noisy. When I want to see a photograph, I want to see a photograph, not some teenager's idea of a cool webpage.

7 upvotes
Leif1981
By Leif1981 (Oct 16, 2012)

While I also don't like the word "killer" I think that many premium flickr members went over to G+. I still use Flickr a little bit aswell but they haven't change enough in the past.
Flickr group discussions are an outdated concept and make it hard to communicate since people have to dive into the groups before finding any discussions they might be interested in. Communication is on G+ much easier (in my opinion). Also the photo viewing experience. Why can't I see the exif info with one single click and blend them in instead of pushing me to another page? If I open the exif data I always have to go back afterwards. Same with the viewing sizes. There is so much unused space on the website - why I can't change the size with one click & why isn't it showing me the perfect size for the device I'm actually using. Yahoo was sleeping and didn't changed much on flickr since years. I really hope that something will change with Marissa.

1 upvote
Mr.NoFlash
By Mr.NoFlash (Oct 16, 2012)

This article reads like a advertisement for google-plus,
The incredible size of the thumpnails - blabla - but not word about the terms of service on the first page, then on the second page a quote Getty ( a company which may buy images from google ) says the TOS would be OK
and this way everything is ok.

Nonsense. Getty is not a group of photographers. Read the TOS, that is the key.
" you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works .... "

Then there is some relevation " only to improve services "

but maybe google will make arbitrary services ( printing service, ad delivery service,.. ) in the future.

Very fishy.
Regards.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
19 upvotes
jquagga
By jquagga (Oct 16, 2012)

You're missing the sentences before and after. Notably: "You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours." and "The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. "

https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/

If they can't distributed the photos you post, the service doesn't work. They translate text of posts so others can read them. And I'm sure tons of other things to operate their services. Be paranoid if you like; for me it works fine.

3 upvotes
Mr.NoFlash
By Mr.NoFlash (Oct 17, 2012)

@jquagga:

"you retain ownership" only means that you still can copy your photos and also publish these somewhere else, that would go without saying.

But google could use it for any of its services in the future, poster print service ( who earns the money then ? do you get a share of it ? probably no ), picture services for internet advertising, postcard printing with your photos and customers text, .. they can call every business they do a service... Google will be domain registrar for tens of new generic Top Level Domains and perhaps will supply cloud storage, will the customers be able to use the photos in their websites ( because those are a google service )? If they do and you dont agree, you will need a good lawyer - google already has good lawyers.

If the service would be limited to "social network service" ( currently called googleplus ) .... but its not restricted.

In addition to that for the resizing of images google does not need the right to "create derivative works"

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

I agree the terms are "fishy" and I think it is sad that a company which also functions as a role model can not to produce a clear agreement. That being said, most people never intent to sell their pictures. To do so is hard work and time consuming. So for those of us never planning to sell their pictures google + seems to be a great place to share images regardless their license terms. Still I think for the sake of googles reputation ( and for being a better role model ) they should make the agreement more clear. Either admit they plan to profit from your images by reselling them if they can and what would be your royalty ( if any) or they should clearly state that the images are yours and only yours and that they do not want nor can financially benefit from them. If they would plan to sell my images and I would get a royalty it would be a clear bonus to me :-) But even if they did sell my image with me not seeing a penny, I am fine. I helped paying the service :-)

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Oct 17, 2012)

Here would be an example of clear terms:
http://500px.com/terms
Left side legal speak, right side plain English. Lovely!

Please note that:
1) All copyrights of your picture remain the way you chose. ( clear | fair | flexible )
2) You can choose to sell your pictures through their service and a whopping 95 % of the sales price go into your pocket ( If I am not mistaken at getty you will get 25 % )
3) At any given time they might shut down the service forvever. This seems a bit brisk in case you paid a year in advance for a pro service level.

After browsing their site for a while I will explore trying to sell pictures if it is as easy and straight forward as it looks :-) I sure enjoyed exploring pictures of others, my best exploring experience yet on any photo sharing site!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Oct 16, 2012)

I wish Google would just buy FB already.

1 upvote
jumpmanjay
By jumpmanjay (Oct 16, 2012)

i wish everyone realized how superior g+ is over fb. the only thing missing on g+ are the people/activity.

10 upvotes
Royi Avital
By Royi Avital (Oct 16, 2012)

The solution is keep sharing posts with our friends using their Gmail account.
Moreover, once you show someone how great Google Hangout is, they will go for it.

0 upvotes
ranalli
By ranalli (Oct 17, 2012)

Yeah, that one tiny thing missing is HUGE!!! Who wants to post pictures that nobody will look at. That's why people post on Facebook...it gets eyes.

1 upvote
DafO
By DafO (Oct 19, 2012)

It may be better - but it was soooo late to the market - it's totally lost out.

Kind of VHS vs Betamax thing. I'm told that Betamax was actually better, but lost out on the PR thing.

0 upvotes
Buckyuk
By Buckyuk (Oct 22, 2012)

It will take time but google + will be everywhere, just as big as facebook in the future

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Oct 23, 2012)

I think Google is smart to just provide the tools and let the network grow organically. Where fb is more of a phone directory and message board, G+ feels more like a club.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 88
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